Amounting to Nothing: Poems

Amounting to Nothing: Poems

by Paul Quenon ocso


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After 60 years at Gethsemani Abbey, Br. Paul follows up his recent memoir, In Praise of the Useless Life, with a poetic collection that shows how to do just that – by writing poetry. 
Amounting to Nothing is both practical and metaphysical, a puzzling over the ultimate things of life, and a descending on the Benedictine ladder of humility to the earthly creatures surrounding a Kentucky monastery. This is less an exploration in self-knowledge than a forgetting of self in the wonders of everything. Quenon treads bare footed on the margins of mortality and immortality, with wit, thought, and hope.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640602014
Publisher: Paraclete Press
Publication date: 04/09/2019
Series: Paraclete Poetry Series
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 768,751
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

Born in West Virginia, Br. Paul Quenon, OCSO, entered the Trappists in 1958 at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, where Thomas Merton was his Novice Master. He is the author of many poetry collections including Unquiet Vigil, and a recent memoir, In Praise of the Useless Life.

Table of Contents

I Getting Nowhere

Mad Monk's Life Ambition 11

Thin Host 12

Undefined 13

God 13

Watchman 15

Alone with the Alone 16

What is an Anti-Poem? 17

The Grammar of Be/cause 18

That Barbarian in the Mirror 19

Emily, your spare lines 19

Merton's Anniversary 20

Critical Change for Whom? 21

Ground of Searching 22

Last Conversation with Matthew 23

For Fr. Matthew Kelty 24

Teensy, Weensy Fishies 25

Hidden Life 26

II Busy at Non-Doing

For Br. Martin de Porres 29

A Song 30

Ode to Prime Matter 31

Until the Next Committee 33

Kitchen Utensils 34

The Fine Art of Frying an Egg 36

Hungry Ghosts 37

It's There 38

Tree trunk shadows 39

Cedar Sails 40

Nine-Tailed Tiger 41

Meanwhiles 42

III A Community of Creatures

Gang Crows 45

Noble Bugs 45

A Little Night Music 46

Scent of Winter 47

Sole Calet In Hieme 48

Solstice Eclipse 49

Winter Night Symposium 50

Juncos Came Back 51

Cedar Sails 52

Frost Edges 53

Polar Bear 54

Winter Conversation of Trees 55

Rain Mass 56

Rothko Sky 56

Parental Winds 57

Groaning Snow 57

Traveling Companion 58

Mild January Eve 59

Wealthy Abandon 59

Fantasy House Plants 60

Little Mt. Rushmore, KY 61

Pastel Blossoms 62

Careful Instruction 63

Attention Getter 63

Jail Girls 64

Cresting Green 65

Rowdy Party 66

Great Art 67

Spider 68

Ever 'bubby's Mum 70

The Heavens Expound 71

Fireflies 72

Hay Roll Calving 73

Ripe Madonna 74

Sound Unsounded 75

Thunder Disputes 76

Wishing Trees 76

Autumn Evening 77

IV Ritual Instinct

Hollow Bell 81

November Sesshin 82

Fourth Sunday in Advent 83

A Musical Riddle 84

Reading the Clouds 85

Patron Saint of Music 86

In the morning I come before you 87

Bells Embossed with Names 88

Portrait of Rilke 89

Noel Drizzle 90

Epiphany Gifts 91

Walking Meditation 93

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“The beautiful spirits hovering about these poems include Robert Lax, Father Michael Kelty, Meister Eckart, and Thomas Merton. The poems themselves are pure Paul Quenon – playful, questioning, meditative, suffused with joy and wonder at the mystery of creation. His readers will come away quietly amazed, lit up like the stars."
Frederick Smock, poet, essayist, scholar, Professor of English, Bellarmine University

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